Development and application of the second-generation Berry Impact Recording Device Recording Device
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Instrumented sphere is a useful tool to evaluate impact damage to fruits during harvesting and post-harvest handling. In previous studies, a miniature instrumented sphere, known as Berry Impact Recording Device (BIRD I) sensing system was developed to measure the impact damage for small fruits and vegetables. In this thesis, an improved BIRD sensor (BIRD II) with smaller size, lighter weight and better performance was developed. The sensor can better resemble the behavior of a real blueberry under dynamic impacts. Both the BIRD I and BIRD II sensors were used to evaluate eleven commercial blueberry packing lines. There were many transfer points that created high impact level and most of them had hard surfaces. These impacts could cause the fruit bruising rate up to 26% for a particular cultivar. The results also showed that padding the transfer points is an efficient and inexpensive way to reduce impacts.